Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spring Training Tea Leaves

We've got nothing better to do than fret over the coming season, so join us as we read entirely too much into the handful of stories emerging from Super Awesome Truck Parts and Lube Stadium1 in Dunedin.

Snider's Ribs, Early Edition: Sure, we could devolve the conversation into a smoking, saucy pile of nonsense. But for a guy who grips-it-and-rips-it like Snider, a rib cage injury (Whole Lott of NatPost!) can be a nagging, long-term issue, and it's enough to have us balancing out worry over how soon he can return, or whether if he should.

Scotty Pods' Podiatrical Problems: Recent signee and new Jays fan favorite Scott Podsednik (who you clearly love more than we do) has the plantar faciatis troubles (via The Star) once again. Having once struggled through similar issues, we can attest that it is a painful problem. Also, it seems to strike old tubby guys who are trying to be more active than they should. So our recommendation to Podsednik is to take it easy, do lots of foot stretching and don't scamper about too fast. And if it means that you have to stay off the active roster for the bulk of the season, so be it.2

Johnny Mac and the Tools of Ignorance: We've known for years that John McDonald was the Jays' emergency (he prefers "safety valve") option behind the plate should both catchers go down within the span of nine innings. But after seeing some pics of McDonald in full backstop's regalia, we couldn't help but wonder: Could a guy with his baseball IQ but middling offensive skills actually extend his career by serving as a backup catcher? Imagine that we're coming into the season, and we've got J.P. Arencibia and John McDonald as our catchers: Is that any worse that JPA and Random Molina3?

Snider's Ribs, Late Edition: Catching up later, looking for links, we notice that Snider hurt himself while golfing (Gregor, via msnbc).4 Seriously, what the fucking fuck. We're beginning to think that they should hold early workouts at the Rogers Centre so as to avoid this sort of monkeyshines-induced infirmity. And as a sidenote to our good pal the Lunchbox: Take it easy on the links, dude. You don't need to impress anyone with your golf game. Use a three-iron off the tee, and keep it in the fairway.


1. Likely not the actual name, though we'll never remember what the real one is. This seems close enough. Or certainly not much more comical than the actual one.

2. Oddly, we'd just started to warm to Podsednik as bench depth. This joke is our subconscious way of getting ourselves back to slappy-hating.

3. 2010 OPS: McDonald - .727 in 163 PAs; Molina - .681 in 183 PAs.

4. And yeah, we realize that the fact of the golfing was right there in the lede of the Lott piece. We went back afterward to find the links, so we were in the dark as of the writing of that initial item. Now you know.


William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

I nearly spit my coffee with the Podsednik line. Staying away the whole season wouldn't hurt the Jays a bit.

Hey, McDonald should know that if you can squat for five innings at a time, you can be a big league catcher for fifteen years. You don't even have to be any good. Just squat for five innings and make a mil a year. Not bad work if you can get it.

Tao of Stieb said...

I actually have this notion of Johnny Mac extending his career by a decade by being back there. His knees would still be okay at this point.

And you know that he'd block balls in the dirt at standards approved by Alan Ashby.

Ian - BJH said...

Nothing wrong with hitting the irons off the tee. I don't even use a driver, mostly because I slice into the woods every GD time.

Buck16 said...

I can see why the media doesn't want to be lied to by the new manager, but Griffin took whining to an all-time high in his column today.

Of course we don't want to be lied to, but Griff makes it sound like it was personal.

cw said...

travis definitely has golf on the brain... http://www.daylife.com/photo/06RQ2Gz1yqakw

Tao of Stieb said...

Griff and Lott are on the warpath about the culture of secrecy. I can understand why, though Lott's arguments seem to be more on point than Griff's.

Griff has a bad habit of dredging up shit from the past to support his specious arguments of today.

(And I've gotten really soft on Griff lately...)

GCM1979 said...

I'm assuming he hurt it at Jesse Litsch's fundraiser. God damn cheeseball!

I definitely see Johnny Mac back with the Jays after this season. If he could add the 3rd catcher option, would definitely help compliment a JPA/Jeroloman battery in 2012.

MK Piatkowski said...

I got my case of plantar faciatis from wearing cheap shoes (especially heels). I too can attest to how painful it is. I feel for Pods, although I suspect he didn't get it the way I did.

More worrisome than Snider's injury is that horrible moustache. Just when I was coming around to thinking he could be attractive...

Dr. Pooks said...

Does anyone have any examples of modern players being converted to catchers in their 30s?

The fact that I can't think of anyone makes me conclude that there must be a good reason for it.
Catcher is basically as far right on the defensive spectrum as possible. You would think that if it were possible to learn the skills later in life, it would be a natural transition for aging 3B/RF who are losing ranging but still have cannons.

Interesting thought though. Certainly outside the box.

Chad said...

Good points, all.